Don't start trumpeting the online petitions just yet, but it seems 'Family Guy''s recently deceased character may have beaten death, after all. After rumors of stunt plotting and public outcry, it seems the Griffin family's departing member will indeed return to the series as early as December 15, with a recurring presence to maintain in future episodes.

Assuming you've made it past the spoiler line, Brian Griffin officially lives. We guessed as much from the earlier description of 'Family Guy''s December 15 episode "Christmas Guy" that Stewie's Christmas wish would likely return Brian to the land of the living, though Entertainment Weekly has officially confirmed the character among the cast for the episode.

For those living under a rock, in a cave, on Mars, with their fingers in their ears, November 24 episode "Life of Brian" killed off the Griffin family pooch, declaring it to be permanent in that Stewie couldn't repair his time machine to save his friend. The Griffins swiftly replaced Brian with Vinny (Tony Sirico), though Brian had been confirmed to appear in episodes the following season by their plot descriptions. After all, it wasn't like Seth MacFarlane was going anywhere, anyway.

We'll likely check out "Christmas Guy" for ourselves to confirm Brian's return (FOX has been keeping mum), but what say you? Are you confident Brian will return before long? What do you think 'Family Guy' should do with the character next?